The Info List - Saka Era

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: ŚAKA ERA) is a historical calendar era , corresponding to Julian year 78. It is also known as Shalivahana Śaka era or rtgs : Mahasakkarat "Greater Era").


* 1 History * 2 Usage * 3 In literature * 4 See also

* 5 References

* 5.1 Citations * 5.2 Sources


The origin of the Shaka era is highly controversial. There are two Shaka era system in scholarly use, one is called Old Shaka Era, whose epoch is uncertain, probably sometime in the 1st millennium BCE because ancient Buddhist, Jaina and Hindu inscriptions and texts use it, but this a subject of dispute among scholars. The other is called Saka
Era of 78 AD, or simply Saka
Era, a system that is common in epigraphic evidence from southern India. A parallel northern India system is the Vikrama Era, which is related to the Bikrami calendar linked to Vikramaditya.

The beginning of the Shaka era is now widely equated to the ascension of king Chashtana in 78 CE. His inscriptions, dated to the years 11 and 52, have been found at Andhau in Kutch
region. These years are interpreted as Shaka years 11 (89 CE) and 52 (130 CE).

A previously more common view was that the beginning of the Shaka era corresponds to the ascension of Kanishka I in 78 CE. However, the latest research by Henry Falk indicates that Kanishka ascended the throne in 127 CE. Moreover, Kanishka was not a Shaka, but a Kushana ruler. Other historical candidates have included rulers such as Vima Kadphises , Vonones , and Nahapana .

According to historian Dineshchandra Sircar , the historically inaccurate notion of " Shalivahana era" appears to be based on the victory of the Satavahana
ruler Gautamiputra Satakarni
Gautamiputra Satakarni
over some Shaka ( Western Kshatrapa ) kings. Sircar also suggests that the association of the northern king Vikramaditya with Vikrama era
Vikrama era
(also historically inaccurate) might have led the southern scholars to fabricate a similar legend of their own. Another similar account claims that the legendary emperor Vikramaditya defeated the Shakas in 78 CE, and the Shaka era marks the day of this conquest. This legend has been mentioned in the writings of Brahmagupta (7th century CE), Al-Biruni (973-1048 CE), and others. However, this is an obvious fabrication. Over time, the word "Shaka" became generic, and came to be mean "an era"; the era thus came to be known as " Shalivahana Shaka".


The earliest known users of the era are the Western Satraps
Western Satraps
, the Shaka (Indo-Scythian ) rulers of Ujjain . From the reign of Rudrasimha I (178–197), they recorded the date of minting of their coins in the Shaka era, usually written on the obverse behind the king's head in Brahmi numerals
Brahmi numerals

The use of the calendar era survived into the Gupta period and became part of Hindu tradition following the decline of Buddhism in India . It was in widespread use by the 6th to 7th centuries, e.g. in the works of Varāhamihira and Brahmagupta , and by the 7th century also appears in epigraphy in Hindu Southeast Asia .

The calendar era remained in use in India and Southeast Asia throughout the medieval period, the main alternative era in traditional Hindu timekeeping being the Vikram Samvat
Vikram Samvat
era (56 BC). It was used by Javanese courts until 1633, when it was replaced by Anno Javanico , a hybrid Javanese-Islamic system. It was adopted as the era of the Indian national calendar
Indian national calendar
(also known as "Śaka calendar") in 1957.

The Shaka era is the vernal equinox of the year AD 78. The year of the modern Shaka Calendar is tied to the Gregorian date of 22 March every year, except in Gregorian leap years when it starts on 21 March.


According to Vicarasreni of Merutunga , Saka
era began in 78 AD.


* Vikram Samvat
Vikram Samvat
* Indian national calendar
Indian national calendar



* ^ A B C Richard Salomon (1998). Indian Epigraphy : A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the other Indo-Aryan Languages. Oxford University Press. pp. 182–184. ISBN 9780195356663 . * ^ Richard Salomon (1998). Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the other Indo-Aryan Languages. Oxford University Press. pp. 181–183. ISBN 978-0-19-535666-3 . * ^ Shailendra Bhandare (2006). "Numismatics and History: The Maurya-Gupta interlude in the Gangetic Plains". In Patrick Olivelle. Between the Empires : Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE: Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE. Oxford University Press. p. 69. ISBN 9780199775071 . * ^ Adalbert J. Gail; Gerd J. R. Mevissen; Richard Salomon, eds. (2006). Script and Image: Papers on Art and Epigraphy. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 193. * ^ Ladislav Stančo (2012). Greek Gods in the East. Karolinum Press . p. 18. * ^ A B Krishna Chandra Sagar (1992). Foreign Influence on Ancient India. Northern Book Centre. pp. 135–136. ISBN 9788172110284 . * ^ D. C. Sircar (1965). Indian Epigraphy. Motilal Banarsidass
Motilal Banarsidass
. pp. 262–266. * ^ P. V. Jagadisa Ayyar (1982). South Indian Shrines: Illustrated. Asian Educational Services. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-81-206-0151-2 . * ^ Rapson, "A Catalogue of Indian coins in the British Museum. Andhras etc." p. CCVIII * ^ Ricklefs, Merle Calvin (1993). A history of modern Indonesia since c. 1300 (2nd ed.). Stanford University Press and Macmillans. pp. 5 and 46. ISBN 9780804721950 . * ^ Kailash Chand Jain 1991 , p. 85.


* Jain, Kailash Chand (1991), Lord Mahāvīra and His Times, Motilal Banarsidass , ISBN 978-81-2